Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Posted by Junelli 5:13 PM
Phil Ivey busts Andy Beal!
from Cardplayer

What is the sum of two players and a game of limit Texas hold’em, divided by three days of intense heads-up action? The answer is 16.6 million dollars.

Over the years, mathematical theorist Andy Beal has applied probability to the game of poker and found new fame by repeatedly challenging the elite in a spirited game of limit Texas hold’em.

“Beal’s conjecture,” otherwise known as the “Beal problem,” became just that for The Corporation — a team of professional poker players who aggregated their $10 million and matched it against his $20 million in a series of private sessions. Since early February, the event became a virtual roller coaster ride for players and fans alike, with financial swings, false retirement claims, and multiple challengers adding to the excitement.

At the midmonth break of a nail-biting two-week competition, The Corporation had depleted their $10 million bankroll. The members dusted themselves off and prepared for Thursday’s L.A. Poker Classic event in California. The game was paused until the two teams could coordinate their schedules.

On Monday night, Feb. 20, 2006, Beal was back on a plane to Las Vegas and checked himself into the Wynn Resort upon arrival. He returned to play a third week of high-stakes Texas hold’em poker against a new challenger, the Corporation’s long time team member, Phil Ivey.

Ivey is known for his aggressive play and unwavering focus at the tables. At the recent Card Player Player of the Year awards, he took home three top awards, best no-limit player, best heads-up player, and most-feared player. Ivey continues to play the highest-stakes cash games in the world in addition to the tournament circuit.

Tuesday, Feb. 21:
Play began in the late afternoon and blinds were set at $30,000-$60,000, lower than the previous $50,000-$100,000 of weeks past. Ivey seemed to hold the lead throughout the day’s match. Spectators in the high-limit section of the Wynn poker room, who witnessed much of the action, shared their thoughts with Card Player. Most felt Ivey had exhibited an aggressive approach. In typical fashion, he sat blank-faced, focused, and with his mouth agape.

It’s the same expression that also won Ivey the “Flushies” award, for the best poker face, during the 2005 World Series of Poker. Ivey has an intense and intimidating nature at any table and the one-on-one competition with Beal only seemed to magnify this trait.

Play ended at around 7 p.m. PST and it appeared Ivey was up several racks. It was confirmed by a member of The Corporation that the number was $2 million in Ivey and The Corporation’s favor.

Wednesday, Feb. 22:
First thing Wednesday morning, Ivey and Beal were again heads-up at the felt on table No. 3 at the Wynn. Blinds remained at $30,000-$60,000 and again Ivey seemed to have an advantage over Beal. In less than eight hours of heightened competition, Ivey ended the day with another monetary gain of $4.6 million.

Ivey and Beal left the table of the poker room together while they conversed amongst themselves.

Thursday, Feb. 23:

At 9 a.m. Beal and Ivey met for a third and final session. Ivey was in seat two, at the long end of the table, with his back against the wall. Beal sat in seat six, at an angle so as to face Ivey. To Beal’s left (in seat seven), sat his long time friend and representative, Craig Singer and next to him was Michael Craig (author of the book The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King), in seat nine. The two players discussed the possibility of raising the stakes while the witnesses remained silent. It took only moments for Ivey and Beal to come to an agreement and the blinds would indeed be raised to the original level of $25,000 – $50,000, increasing the limits to $50,000 – $100,000.

At around noon, the players took a short break and Craig Singer explained that Beal had developed a reserved curiosity over the media’s need to share information regarding the private high-stakes matches. Back in Texas, Singer had printed a recent article and placed it on Beal’s desk for his review. Suddenly, the break was over and Singer was due to return to his seat. He informed us Beal was up almost $2 million. “We’re doing better today.” He said as he returned to the game about to resume.

From the rail, one could see Beal reaching repeatedly into his rack for chips. Within a few hands it appeared Ivey had reversed his deficit and was back to even. The dealer was tapped out and a new one took his place. When that dealer was swapped-out, he shook his head, as in disbelief while walking from the table. The already intense face-off had become an action packed, raise-to-the-river spectacle.

Members of The Corporation began to arrive and could be seen on the sidelines, talking discretely amongst themselves. They were careful to keep a respectful distance from the table so as not to distract the players. It was just after 1 p.m. when both players suddenly rose to shake hands. After approximately four hours of play, Ivey had recovered his initial loss and won an additional $10 million.

The Corporation had recovered their $10 million loss since Feb 1, and earned another $6.5 million in revenue through Ivey's efforts.

Andy Beal complimented members of The Corporation for their sportsmanship and announced he would be heading home to Texas.

He also mentioned that he was done with poker.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 7:46 PM
....aaaand in my continuing effort to be the permanent grumpy old crank of this blog, yet another observation of the inaneness of online micro-limit big-bet poker: The "Call Any" checkbox.

This has to be both simultaneously the most dumbfounding and beautiful innovation in the history of the world. Dumbfounding because blindly calling any bet unseen has to be one of the worst move anyone can make in a poker game (even if you have the stone cold nuts on 4th street, why look eager?) and beautiful because, well, if someone is so dumb to use it, I want to be playing with him.

(2) comments

Posted by Padilla 1:57 PM
My Little Black Book...

I’m going to withhold dollar figures, but I’ve decided to keep track of my sessions this year. Since I had to read up on the tax code, I went ahead and read everything I could about gambling wins/losses, recreational/semi-pro/pro claims, etc. The IRS requires a diary if you claim to be a certain type of player, allowing you to claim certain losses. The diary should consist of:

Quote from “Miscellaneous Deductions, Gambling Losses Up to the Amount of Gambling Winnings”
1. The date and type of your specific wager or wagering activity.
2. The name and address or location of the gaming establishment.
3. The names of other persons present with you at the gambling establishment.
4. The amount won or lost.
End Quote

I want to be prepared in case I need to claim losses next year against my planned winnings in the WSOP. Ambitious…….but you have to set goals, so I did.

I think it helps in a few regards:
1. It allows me to walk away from a small win without giving it back. Small wins add up quickly, and when I write down every session, I feel better about small positives rather than any negatives.
2. It helps identify my winning games vs. my losing games, so maybe I’ll put a little more care into a certain game.

I think it hurts if I think too much about it DURING a game, like I did last weekend. It has also happened when I’m playing online, since my register is sitting right next to me.

As for my results, I’ve taken the liberty of assuming the amount of a big bet in a pot limit game is 3x the big blind and 5x the big blind in no limit games. I’m up just over 4 big bets per hour in cash games to this point, and down $140 in tournament play. Nothing to impressive or extensive (less than 100 hours), but I’ve already figured out that I need to be careful not to play Turbo SNG’s. If I don’t have time for an hour and a half SNG, I shouldn’t play!!

Just food for thought.
Now, back to Chewbacca's blog and Fro's tough (but not "bad") beats.

(3) comments

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 9:06 AM

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 11:03 PM

I spit my beer out when I came across this one.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 9:59 PM

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Posted by Dr Fro 9:52 PM
This story has spread pretty quickly. A guy lost a lot of money for breaking Party Poker's rule about only having one account. It is an interesting story, because his "crime" wasn't what actually led to his victory.

Now, if he had used two accounts to play at the same table, then it is easy to see how the crime led to a reward. But that isn't what happened; the fact that he played in a tournament under two different names in no way gave him any sort of advantage (unless he found himself at the same table as himself).

Anyway, he is an idiot.

This Blog, Poker News, RGP and Dallas' favorite, Pokerati, all have the story.

Although the infraction is minor, IMHO, I think that it is imperative that they absolutely throw the book at this guy. Online gaming can only ever be as profitable as it is perceived to be honest. Kicking this guy in the nuts will make a statement to would-be cheaters everywhere,

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Posted by Dr Fro 5:57 PM
I may have Junell beat here. I am speechless:

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Posted by Johnnymac 12:49 PM
Couple of months old, but still quite funny, courtesy of Letterman.


Top Ten Signs You're A Gay Cowboy

10. "Your saddle is Versace"

9. "Instead of 'Home On The Range', you sing 'It's Raining Men'"

8. "You enjoy ridin', ropin', and redecoratin'"

7. "Sold your livestock to buy tickets to 'Mamma Mia'"

6. "After watching reruns of 'Gunsmoke', you have to take a cold shower"

5. "Native Americans refer to you as 'Dances With Men'"

4. "You've been lassoed more times than most steers"

3. "You're wearing chaps, yet your 'ranch' is in Chelsea"

2. "Instead of a saloon you prefer a salon"

1. "You love riding, but you don't have a horse"

(0) comments

Friday, February 24, 2006

Posted by Junelli 1:29 PM
Okay, now I've seen it all.

It's too bad I was playing in a tournament instead of the bad beat tables. I would've hit the $392,000.00 bad beat jackpot.

***** Hand History for Game 3614473225 *****
0/0 Tourney Texas Hold'em Game Table (NL) (Tournament 20452066) - Fri Feb 24 14:00:00 EST 2006
Table $200K Saturday Qualifier Freeroll 500 points(609484) Table 18 (Real Money) -- Seat 6 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: skyfox1061 (2580)
Seat 2: simeast (2944)
Seat 3: hugohenrik (6726)
Seat 4: metarn (2820)
Seat 5: LokiDawg (3200)
Seat 6: lucky777111 (3710)
Seat 7: bokbefok111 (2080)
Seat 8: junell (2860)
Seat 9: troubler8 (2660)
Seat 10: Nima01 (2980)
bokbefok111 posts small blind (20)
junell posts big blind (40)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to junell [ 9c, Ac ]
troubler8 calls (40)
Nima01 folds.
skyfox1061 folds.
simeast calls (40)
hugohenrik calls (40)
metarn calls (40)
LokiDawg folds.
lucky777111 calls (40)
bokbefok111 calls (20)
junell checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 9h, 7s, 9d ]
bokbefok111 checks.
junell checks.
troubler8 bets (121)
simeast folds.
hugohenrik calls (121)
metarn folds.
lucky777111 folds.
bokbefok111 calls (121)
junell calls (121)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 9s ]
bokbefok111 checks.
junell checks.
troubler8 checks.
hugohenrik bets (100)
bokbefok111 calls (100)
junell calls (100)
troubler8 calls (100)
** Dealing River ** : [ 5s ]
bokbefok111 bets (209)
junell calls (209)
troubler8 raises (2399) to 2399
troubler8 is all-In.
hugohenrik calls (2399)
bokbefok111 folds.
junell raises (2390) to 2599
junell is all-In.
hugohenrik calls (200)
Creating Main Pot with $8570 with troubler8
Creating Side Pot 1 with $400 with junell
** Summary **
Main Pot: 8570 | Side Pot 1: 400 |
Board: [ 9h 7s 9d 9s 5s ]

skyfox1061 balance 2580, didn't bet (folded)
simeast balance 2904, lost 40 (folded)
hugohenrik balance 3866, lost 2860 [ 7h Ad ] [ a full house, Nines full of sevens -- 9h,9d,9s,7h,7s ]
metarn balance 2780, lost 40 (folded)
LokiDawg balance 3200, didn't bet (folded)
lucky777111 balance 3670, lost 40 (folded)
bokbefok111 balance 1610, lost 470 (folded)
junell balance 400, bet 2860, collected 400, lost -2460 [ 9c Ac ] [ four of a kind, nines -- Ac,9c,9h,9d,9s ]
troubler8 balance 8570, bet 2660, collected 8570, net +5910 [ 8s 6s ] [ a straight flush, nine high -- 9s,8s,7s,6s,5s ]
Nima01 balance 2980, didn't bet (folded)

(2) comments

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 9:29 PM
I didn't even go to UT and all I can say is, he will be missed.

Goosebumps all over again.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Posted by Padilla 8:41 PM
Sorry to hijack, but...........

I was just dealt K-K in consecutive hands during a tournament.

1st one doubled me up.
2nd one flopped a set and knocked out an opponent holding A-A. (he never saw it coming)

Let's disregard the amazing A-A coincidence and get to the meat of it....
What genius knows the probability of being dealt the exact same hand 2 times in a row.
(if you say 50-50, your level of comedic humor will be revealed)

No, I did not hit the same suits on hand #2.

p.s. I lost the damn tourney. I hate Turbo's and accidentally registered for it. Those Pokerstars titles are too long, I didn't notice it.

(3) comments

Posted by Junelli 3:45 PM
In case you haven't been online in awhile, Party Poker has been dramatically revamped and improved.

The interface is entirely new
Tables can now be resized (good for multitabling)
Filters allow you to quickly find your game

Tournaments are much better now too:
1. SNGs start with 2,000 in chips (1,000 before)
2. Multis start with 3,000 chips (2,000 before)
2. Blinds go up every 10 minutes (not every 10 hands)
3. A wider variety of buy-ins.
4. Deal making

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Posted by Junelli 3:01 PM
Poker may not get you much in this world. But in Phil Ivey's case, it got him a Mercedes McLaren valued at over $400,000 (and with a top speed of over 200mph).

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Posted by Johnnymac 10:46 AM

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 9:34 PM
This from OPN:

Bobby Neary is an online poker player at Party Poker. The 21-year-old recently scored a major success in winning a berth at the Aussie Millions poker tournament through a Party Poker online satellite qualifier. Neary made the most of his opportunity, turning it into a 2nd-place finish at the Australian poker tournament, worth a whopping $520,000. Unbeknownst to him, however, the terms he agreed to in receiving Party Poker's prize obligated him to allegedly violate NCAA sponsorship rules, thus jeopardizing his golf scholarship.

Neary is better known outside the online poker world for his skills on the golfing greens at Sonoma State University in California. Upon learning that Neary wore items bearing the Party Poker logo and agreed to let Party Poker use his image and voice while at the Aussie Millions, the NCAA disqualified him as "athletically ineligible" to compete in golf events for his university team. Sonoma State is currently petitioning the NCAA to readmit Neary to collegiate golf, but in case that doesn't work out, Neary can at least take up online poker as more than just a hobby. With a bankroll of over half a million dollars to play with, he stands to make a lot more greens anyhow.

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Posted by Johnnymac 7:46 PM
One thing that I will never understand about internet poker, especially the microlimits that I like to dabble in, is how a "normal" hand can all of a sudden get out of control with crazy and irrational raises and reraises. Well, actually, "understand" is probably not the right word, I understand it in the sense that we are only playing for pennies and not all of the players are necessarily taking it seriously, so I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't necessarily see what caused the hand below to get so out of hand on the flop relative to other hands. The winning low hand was raising with his A2crapcrap hand (which is pretty common, I shouldn't be surprised) but all the winning high hand had was a set of kings, three suited cards in the hole, and a whole lot of outs to being a loser. As usual, I called the extra penny from my small blind and was going to fold anyway when I didn't flop quads and that's what I did.


PokerStars Game #4031540413: Omaha Hi/Lo Pot Limit ($0.01/$0.02) - 2006/02/19 - 20:42:11 (ET)
Table 'Makhaon II' Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: byeloe ($7.11 in chips)
Seat 2: johnnymac96 ($1.51 in chips)
Seat 3: thedude54 ($6.65 in chips)
Seat 4: tinkerdon2 ($3.04 in chips)
Seat 5: pokerclan ($5.01 in chips)
Seat 6: Xenphon ($0.32 in chips)
Seat 7: w7zorro ($1.30 in chips)
Seat 8: papasmurf266 ($3.39 in chips)
Seat 9: TerWan ($0.76 in chips)
johnnymac96: posts small blind $0.01
thedude54: posts big blind $0.02
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to johnnymac96 [4s Td 6d 5s]
tinkerdon2: folds
pokerclan: calls $0.02
Xenphon: folds
w7zorro: calls $0.02
papasmurf266: calls $0.02
TerWan: calls $0.02
byeloe: calls $0.02
johnnymac96: calls $0.01
thedude54: checks
*** FLOP *** [3s 7h Kd]
johnnymac96: checks
thedude54: bets $0.14
pokerclan: raises $0.42 to $0.56
w7zorro: folds
papasmurf266: calls $0.56
TerWan: raises $0.18 to $0.74 and is all-in
byeloe: calls $0.74
johnnymac96: folds
thedude54: raises $3.48 to $4.22
pokerclan: raises $0.77 to $4.99 and is all-in
papasmurf266: folds
byeloe: calls $4.25
thedude54: calls $0.77
*** TURN *** [3s 7h Kd] [6h]
papasmurf266 leaves the table
thedude54: bets $1.64 and is all-in
byeloe: calls $1.64
*** RIVER *** [3s 7h Kd 6h] [Ts]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
thedude54: shows [7s Ks As Kh] (HI: three of a kind, Kings)
byeloe: shows [Th 2s 6s Ad] (HI: two pair, Tens and Sixes; LO: 7,6,3,2,A)
thedude54 collected $1.59 from side pot-2
byeloe collected $1.59 from side pot-2
pokerclan: mucks hand
thedude54 collected $6.05 from side pot-1
byeloe collected $6.05 from side pot-1
TerWan: mucks hand
thedude54 collected $1.76 from main pot
byeloe collected $1.75 from main pot
TerWan leaves the table
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $19.69 Main pot $3.51. Side pot-1 $12.10. Side pot-2 $3.18. | Rake $0.90
Board [3s 7h Kd 6h Ts]
Seat 1: byeloe (button) showed [Th 2s 6s Ad] and won ($9.39) with HI: two pair, Tens and Sixes; LO: 7,6,3,2,A
Seat 2: johnnymac96 (small blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 3: thedude54 (big blind) showed [7s Ks As Kh] and won ($9.40) with HI: three of a kind, Kings
Seat 4: tinkerdon2 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: pokerclan mucked [2c Qh 3c 3h]
Seat 6: Xenphon folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: w7zorro folded on the Flop
Seat 8: papasmurf266 folded on the Flop
Seat 9: TerWan mucked [7c Js 5c 7d]

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Posted by Dr Fro 1:36 PM
I think it was 1999. I was playing poker at the Friendship Social Club. This was long before Chris Moneymaker changed the face of poker, and it was rare to spot a young buck like me in a card room. The rooms were full of retirees and middle aged businessmen types. When I would walk in, they would salivate.

I was playing $5-$10 Limit O/8. I just scooped a big pot off of a guy that was surprised to see me win. He then turned to his buddy and said, "It looks like the rabbits are hunting the wolves today."

I said to him, "Do you think I can't hear you or do you think I am too stupid to understand what you said?"

He replied, "I wasn't talking to you."

I said, "I didn't ask who you were talking to. I asked if you thought I couldn't hear you or if you thought I was too stupid to understand what you said."

He got all sheepish and later made a crack about "being seen and not heard."

This was my first but not my last exposure to players openly criticizing other players at the table. It didn't make any sense to me then and it doesn't make any sense to me now. First of all, it is rude. Second of all, if you criticize a fish, you may embarrass him and he may never come back. Third, if you embarrass a player for playing too loosely, you may scare him into starting to play better. Last, you have just given away information (specifically, your perception of another player); poker is a game of incomplete information, and the less you give out, the better off you are.

After my kick in the nuts on Thursday, I returned to Jackie's on Friday to play for a couple hours before Jane landed. Everything went my way. I got AA, AA, KK, JJ all in the first 30 minutes of playing. I was firing out bets commensurate with these hands and people were folding right and left. These big bets coupled with a hand very early in the game where I bet (and got a call and won!) with middle pair gave the overall impression to my opponents that I was a maniac.

The Friday night crowd (for the $1-$2 game) is a different crew from Thursday night (for the $2-$5 game). I know the Thursday guys pretty well. We play often with each other and are all quite familiar with each others' tendencies (which is exactly why I decided to call Isaac's bet in Hand #1.) I found it interesting that all the table banter on Thursday of which I was the subject went like this:

"Uh-oh, Mr. Scotland bet. He never bets, he must have something good. I fold"

"Wake over there, kid. There's a poker game going on."

"You know, it's ok to play something other than Aces"

Contrast that with the comments being made on Friday about me:

"That's brilliant" (sarcastic) "Bet $45 into a $35 pot."

"Of course you bet, you have the nuts again" (sarcastic)

"You play a lot online don't you?" (That one was a favorite of mine. I don't think he knew that I knew what he was getting at.)

I don't wake up one day and decide to play very differently that the day before. I play my cards and I play my opponents. So the reason why the comments were so different over the course of 24 hours is due to the inaccurate, one-dimensional, too-quick-to-judge sort of analysis that you get from novice players.

Mike Caro advises that you should not decide on an image before you sit down. You should just play your cards for 30 minutes and pay attention to the image that is developing. You should then go out of your way to reinforce that image. Once your image is firmly implanted in your opponents' heads, it will be hard / slow to change. So that's what I did on Friday.

I didn't take offense like I did in 1999. I went along with it. I even made an illegal bet on purpose just to make it look like I didn't have a clue. Not a soul at the table knew me from Adam and I was putting on an Oscar-winning performance. (Insert Brokeback Mountain joke here)

So, one of my critics raises the $5 minimum bring-in to $20 and I look down to see AK. I dropped my promise about not raising with AK a few days ago (separate post on that), and I decided that a very big bet here would probably get called by an inferior hand. In fact, my guess was that he could have had AQ or AJ in which case I would be ahead by a mile. Even QQ-22 would be a coin toss. My biggest and most open critic goes all in for $110. He is completely steaming and has been accusing me of theivery all night. The original raiser went all in for about $150 and I called. Original raiser has QQ and Steamer has rags.

This is beautiful. I am getting 2:1 on my money and I am only a 1.5:1 (40%) dog. Although there is a lot on the line, I am in a profitable situation. The situation was only created by virtue of my playing a role. I only knew to play that role based on the comments of my opponents. When they came all-in, I knew it was because they thought I was stealing with junk. If this were Thursday night, I would have folded because such a raise into me would likely have only been from AA or KK.

So my opponents gave away information and paid for it. I got an Ace and won with top pair.

So here is what I have learned: If you must speak at the poker table, don't talk about poker (not your hands, not your opponents, not nada). You give away information and then you will give away money.

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 1:33 PM
From the mailbag:


To: Dr Fro
From: ARH
Date: 02/14/2006
Subj: Question

What u gon’ do with all that ass?
All that ass inside them jeans?



I’m a make, make, make, make you scream
Make u scream, make you scream

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 1:29 PM
Mrs. Dr. Fro (the mother not the wife) came in town this weekend. She brought a box of old crap of mine. There were some old Star Wars figures that I'll let Junell play with when he comes in town, a lot of little league trophies and some funny pictures. This one caught my attention when I saw that a poker buddy of mine was in my pre-school class.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 1:21 PM
From the mailbag:


To: Dr Fro
From: ARH
Date: 02/14/2006
Subj: Question

What you gon’ do with all that junk?
All that junk inside your trunk?



I’ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
Get you love drunk off my hump.

(0) comments

Posted by Padilla 8:34 AM
WSOP Satellite #2 Final Table Report

The date for satellite #3 has not been decided. No doubt you'll hear from me soon.

The way the day started, nobody would have been surprised to see Ryan DeWitt walk away with another WSOP prize package. However, in the end it was Jerome Posatko that outlasted Ryan to win the 2nd WSOP event buy-in.

On hand #1, Elicia Moody raised her own big blind of $10 to $30. Ryan came back over the top of her raise with a raise of her own, which Elicia quickly called. The flop brought K-J-? and Elicia’s fate was nearly sealed. Ryan had flopped a set of Jacks versus Elicia’s A-A (80%-20% favorite). The money went all-in on the turn, and for good measure, Ryan hit quads on the river.

Before Elicia had even left the property, Tony Ford flopped bottom set and tried to bet Jerome out of the pot. Jerome had committed enough of his chips to the pot that when his straight finally hit, Tony’s day was done.

The tournament continued into the day, with the other finalists being eliminated until a chip count took place on the bubble (4 handed):
1650 Matt Smith
1800 Me
1600 Jerome
4950 Ryan

On what seemed like hand #2000, Matt Smith was eliminated on the bubble (4th place), leaving Jerome, Ryan, and myself as the remaining 3 players. We traded chips, with both of the smaller stacks chipping into Ryan’s stack. At some point during 3-handed play, we each held the chip lead.
In what turned out to be the turning point of the tournament, I had Jerome all-in with 9-9 versus his A-9off (nearly 70%-30%). But instead of knocking him out, I doubled him up when an Ace ‘turned’, and I became the shortstack. I was eliminated soon after, and with Jerome holding a 3-to-1 chip advantage over Ryan (and Ryan sitting on January's WSOP buy-in), the two players immediately worked a deal that sends Jerome to the WSOP. They battled it out for pride and the remaining cash. In the end, Jerome secured a larger share of the remaining cash and bragging rights…until the next satellite.

Thanks to Tony, Jessica, and Kylie for dealing at the final table, and to all the players for playing fairly, courteously, and for not wrecking our home.

In alphabetical order, your finalists were…

1 DeWitt, Ryan
2 Ford, Tony
3 Howard, Kylie
4 Moody, Elicia
5 Morris, Chris
6 Murphree, Patrick
7 Padilla, Michael
8 Posatko, Jerome
9 Smith, Matt
10 Tubbs, Cliff

(1) comments

Friday, February 17, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 5:15 PM
I keep getting emails inviting me to a new place in Dallas. Well, evidently Clonie Gowen played there the other night. Unfortunately for me, I was at work until 10:00.


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Posted by Dr Fro 2:50 PM
Last night, I played a little $2-$5, and I found myself staring at a profit of $860. I was quite pleased. I decided to play "one more orbit" and shortly thereafter regretted my decision. Over 2 consecutive hands, I lost all my profit.

Hand #1
In the first hand, I held AsKh and was heads-up. After the flop, there was app. $250 in the pot. The board was 258, 2 hearts. The turn brought the Ace of hearts. I paired, but the flush came. My opponent went all-in $400ish. I thought forever about what to do. Ordinarily, I would run and hide, but this guy is known to be a tricky player. Surely he didn't make the flush…why would he over bet a made hand? Maybe he was stone-cold bluffing. Maybe he hit the Ace. This guy also considers me to be a scardey-cat (he made app. 10 big bets into me during the night, 9 of which chased me off). After a lot of thought, I decided that he did it the Ace, but that I had a better kicker (plus I had a draw to the nut flush with my King). I called and I was right…..sorta. He did hit that Ace, but his 2 gave him two pair. The river didn't help me and I lost.

Hand #2
The very next hand, I found myself with an open-ended straight draw. The raises were absolutely enormous on every street, but I was getting the right odds to draw (it was a multi-way pot, but I don't recall how many). I drew, missed and packed it up and went home.

In Rounders, Mike talks about remembering every big pot you lose. I was thinking today that when I suffer bad beats, I really don't sweat it. Similarly, if I am getting pot odds (Hand #2) but don't win, I don't care. In the long run, these things sort each other out. However, in hands like Hand #1 where I had to make a tough decision and it turned out that I made the wrong decision, well, I dwell on those for a while. I thought about that hand while lying in bed, in the shower, while at work, etc. I can't shake it.

Hand #1 played itself out a lot like a hand I played at Bellagio once. It was an almost identical circumstance (I had a huge stack, I played longer than I planned, the bet came from a guy that was successfully bullying me, etc.) I also called there and regretted it. Lessons learned from these two scenarios are:

  • Set a time limit and stick to it. I have trouble leaving at my time limit when I am up huge. The problem with a huge stack is that you may get caught in a very sticky situation, one for much bigger stakes than you can really stomach. Just cash out, pat yourself on the back, and go home. Do not try to set the Guinness Book of World Records record for biggest score ever.

  • Don't call a very big bet on the flop unless you have the cojones to call a much, much bigger bet on the turn

  • When you have that big bet come at you and you have a massive stack, remember that it is less likely they are bluffing than if you had a small stack. Small stacks may play scared, but nothing loosens up the purse strings like a nice roll of big wins. Good players know this and are less likely to make a move at a big stack than a small one.

  • I used to play with a wise old man in London who would say, "he who turns and runs away lives to fight another day." I wish I had thought of those words around 12:30 a.m. last night.

    (1) comments

    Posted by Junelli 8:43 AM
    "It feels good to dish out a bad beat every now and then."

    Last night I played $5-$5 NL at Zebra. About 2 hours into the game I was down about $300 and had about $300 left in front of me.

    I was dealt 77 under the gun. Sometimes I raise with middle pocket pairs, and sometimes I just smooth call. It usually just depends on the circumstances: how loose and aggressive the table is, how deep I am, and my position.

    I've read many articles that differ about how to play hands like this, but over the past 3 years I've discovered one thing: you stand more to gain by raising. The reason is simple: you have a chance to pick up the pot even if you miss your set. It's exponentially harder if you merely limp in preflop.

    So UTG I raise to $35 with 77. A middle position player reraises to $70. Both of us smooth call.

    The flop is J 7 6 and I lead out for $75, a small bet hoping to get action on my set. The middle position player raises all-in for $175 more. I call thinking my sevens are good.

    He turns over top set of Jacks.

    This is the worst possible scenario for me. I only have 1 out: the case 7.

    The house explains to him that he can lock up the pot at 20:1 or $600 to $30 (I would get the $30 back).

    He declines the insurance and I spike the case 7 on the turn.

    Quad 7s wins the hand.

    That lucky break turned my night around, and I won a few more hands eventually booking an $800 profit.

    (0) comments

    Thursday, February 16, 2006

    Posted by Junelli 2:44 PM
    I just caught wind that Andy Beal has beaten "The Corporation". For the past week or so, they've been playing $50,000-$100,000 limit hold 'em. Each side started with $10 million

    Andy has won all of the pro's money, and the match is over.

    I found a post on 2+2 that says:

    Day 1 Andy vs. Jennifer = Andy +$5 million
    Day 2 Andy vs. Todd = Andy +$1.5 million
    Day 3 Andy vs. Ted = Andy =+$3.5 million

    Apparently the pros are trying to raise $10 million more.

    I don't know if this is accurate. Can anybody find a confirming source?

    Here are my sources:
    Two Plus Two
    Todd Brunson's Comments

    (0) comments

    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    Posted by Dr Fro 9:31 PM
    The river brought a 7, improving my trips to quads, beating Bear's flush (Queen high).

    "You lucky bastard, you caught a 7."


    Sounds like I got pretty lucky. Let's rewind and analyze the hand. I may remember a couple facts incorrectly, but here are the salient points:

    This crowd is a typical home game crowd. Two key traits that differentiate this home game (well all home games, really) from tougher games are:

    • They are "call happy"
    • They are often excited with their flush even when the board is paired. (i.e. they don't fear "scare cards")

    In this particular hand, I was dealt Ad7c. The flop came 7d7s2d. I flopped trips, and I feel that someone may be drawing at diamonds. I bet large enough to get a "feel" but I am not quite chasing off drawers yet. I get 2 calls. Barring the 22 or the 72 slowplaying, I feel pretty confident that I have a couple guys that are behind me on the flop.

    The turn comes 8d. Aggie leads out with a small bet. I think for a bit. Sure, I may have just been drawn out on by a flush, but no opponent could be convinced that they had the nut flush (I had the Ace). I consider my options:

    • I could fold.
    • I could raise approximately pot-sized. This would have the benefit of getting fold equity*, but as stated above: the crowd is call-happy and they don't fear "scare cards".
    • I could make a ridiculously large bet (e.g. go all-in for about 1.75 times the pot). This has many of the advantages of the pot-sized bet, except that I make it much, much more likely that I get a fold. Even call-happy crowds notice bets this large. I considered the math of this option:

    *Fold equity is used to often to justify some really poor poker playing. It similiar to that guy in college (we called him "Hugh") that would drink any time, any day and say "well it's noon somewhere". People will raise anything and say "well I had fold equity." It sounds quite enlightened of them, but they are really just being idiots. In this particulary hand. I hold the Ace of diamonds and I suspect that my opponents are farting around with lower flushes; I think fold equity is quite appropriate to consider.

    Assuming nothing about their holdings except that I need to improve to win, I have 19 outs (the case 7, 3 8's, 3 2's, 3 Aces and 9 diamonds) out of 46 cards. If I assume that two diamonds are in one of the opponent's hand (we will call him Bear), I get 17 outs out of 44 cards or 39% chance of winning. I'll also assume Aggie folds, which is reasonable given his small bet and his betting patterns thus far. Finally, I'll assume there is no boat out there, as it is very unlikely I am against 27, 22, 28 (all of which suck) and 88 (which should have left the room after the betting on the flop). If the chance of a fold is X%, then my EV is:

    X% * Pot (fold equity) +
    (1-X%) * (1 + 1.75) * Pot * 39% (a call and I win) +
    (1-X%) * (-1.75) * Pot * 61% (a call and I win)

    Run the math and you will see that even with X = 0% (that is, with no chance of getting a fold or "no fold equity") it is almost a break-even proposition. The value comes from "pot equity". Even though I have less than 39% chance on winning the bet & call (even money) on the turn, I have equity in the pot that was already there before I bet. This comes from the bets from other players that have already folded and my sunk costs that are in the pot.

    The all-in play I am considering is +EV at X=1.12% and higher. If you assume a high value of X, then it is very profitable. For X = 50%, I have an EV of nearly 28% of my bet. Where can you get a 28% return these days? This return is high enough to compensate for "model risk" (the possibility that my assumptions are not reasonable).

    In short, even though it is probably the right move to go all-in even when there is a small chance of getting a fold out Bear, it is a great move when the chance of a fold is high. Given that I have the Ace, I think the chance is high. I want a fold, but I won't cry if he calls.

    I go all in

    Bear calls.

    Aggie folds.

    The river brought a 7, improving my trips to quads, beating Bear's flush (Queen high).

    "You lucky bastard, you caught a 7."

    I don't consider myself lucky at all.

    (2) comments

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    Posted by Johnnymac 6:15 PM

































    (0) comments

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Posted by Dr Fro 11:51 PM
    We have GoogleAds on this site. The software reads the text on the site and tailors the ads to the content. Usually, the ads are for poker chips or something like that. We can all delight in the ad that I just caught:

    (0) comments

    Posted by Junelli 2:10 PM

    Kudos to JohnnyMac for bringing up a topic that has long been considered taboo among men. Style!!

    I for one would love to see all you guys start dressing with a little panache and flair. Here are some comments to be appended to the wonderful points made by JohnnyMac:

    No one did it better than Orville.

    Not only did he make the world a better place through delicious buttered popcorn, he also knew the significance looking good.

    Everytime he put on a bowtie, Orville brought his "A-game" Enough said.

    It's never too early to start wearing a bowtie (as seen in this picture of JohnnyMac's first day of school.)

    It helps attract the ladies!

    Robert Goulet should be in the bow-tie hall of fame. Damn, he looks good!!

    How could a million clowns be wrong??

    You think we'd be having all these problems with Iraq, Bird Flu, Al Queda, Immigration, Homicide, Ozone layer, and Brittney Spears driving in the front seat with babies, if we dressed with a little more class??

    FuhhhhhhGettttt about it!!!

    (6) comments

    Posted by Johnnymac 6:11 AM
    A lot of you guys know that I like to think of myself as someone who knows how to dress well (that doesn't mean that I always do...) and who enjoys wearing his tuxedo whenever he gets a chance. In fact, I am writing a book about men's clothing that maybe someday I will get around to finishing and hopefully get published someday.

    I have helped a few of the regular readers of this blog buy formal suits as well, so many of you know my feelings about how it's a little disappointing that it's so hard to find a peaked lapel jacket these days. You probably also know that I feel it's much better to tie your own bow tie, even if it's a little crooked, instead of just strapping a piece of machine tied satin around your neck, because it gives you a little individuality and it shows that you actually took the time to dress up.

    Well, here is a picture of Conan O'Brien from the Grammys the other night. Notice the lapel and the tie.

    Now, THAT looks good. Whoever dressed him that night did well.

    Update 1: Yes, it looks like he is just wearing plain buttons and not black studs. I guess you can't have everything, but it still looks pretty good.

    Update 2: He's is playing a guitar with a black strap over his left shoulder, if you think ths picture looks a little funny.

    (3) comments

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Posted by Johnnymac 8:59 PM
    Tonight I played in another "free" poker tournament boondoggle event with a bunch of other traders and brokers in my industry. These little events have become pretty common, but both times I have played I have been amazed that most of these guys can hold down the jobs that they do because they are clueless at poker.

    Anyway, there were 50-something players in the tournament tonight and I made it into the final 12. I could read all of the guys at my table like a book, especially the older guy across from me who sat down and asked, "what's the game?" This guy had never played holdem before and the first time he dealt the cards he tried to deal seven card stud to the player in the small blind. For a while I thought he might be faking but after watching him play for an hour I was pretty sure he was not.

    Most of the other guys at my table were pretty clueless, too, especially when no one spoke up when it became pretty common practice to lead into the pot for less than the big blind and to under-raise in less than full increments. Since I wasn't playing many hands I didn't really care that guys kept popping each other back and forth for small amounts and besides, the couple of times that I got involved and overbet the pot or raised a big amount I was sure to get a caller no matter. It was fairly soft.

    The older novice guy was terrible. He backed into a couple of big pots early and built a big stack, and although he didn't know how to play poker very well he at least had the insight to use his stack as a weapon. There were very few free cards and it was never cheap to draw. Eventually though, I figured out that the old guy would call any bet if he had any part of the board. This was GREAT! His luck held up against many of the other players and after I doubled-through another player and had built a stack I was just itching to get some cards against this guy, but while I was waiting on that I bled about half of my big stack back into game (10 minute blind levels = very loose plays like A8 and Q9s).

    So eventually I am down to about 15xBB and get dealt J7 in the 500T BB. Older Guy limps in (as he did on every hand) and we have 4 players seeing the flop, which comes 6-8-9. I have a double gutter with 8 outs to the straight and an overcard and am really really hoping to see the next card for free or at least for just one small bet. Small blind checks, I check, UTG checks and Older Guy leads for 200T. Perfect! It's not a legal bet, but I'm not complaining if no one else is, and with my short(ish) stack if I catch a 5, T, or J on the turn I am going all in and will likely be called by Older Guy who could be holding anything...

    But someone else did complain. A new player who had just moved to the table and sat down, a woman that used to work at my company and whom I didn't like then and now I definitely still don't like, opened her big ugly stinking mouth and argued that he had to lead for an amount equal to the BB. She wasn't even involved in the hand. So Older Guy shrugs and reaches into his big stack and bets a pot-sized 2000T instead. No way I can call that now. Thanks a lot, you ugly stinking worthless bitch. The next card is a Jack! Shit! Older Guy bets again, the other remaining player calls. The river is a deuce. The other player shows AT and Older Guy shows... J3!!! DOUBLE SHIT! He would have called my all-in and my 7 would have played. DAMMIT!

    The rest of the tournament was rather inconsequential. I steam for about 10 minutes and debate throwing my coffee cup at Loudmouth Wench's huge ugly noggin, but instead I just sit back and win a couple of small pots until I look down and see TT from under the gun. No question, I go all in for my last 6000T, which at this time is only 6x and will quickly be worthless. Everyone else folds except for Older Guy who calls and shows AJ. It's a race, but my TT holds up and I double through him. THE VERY NEXT HAND I am dealt KK in the big blind and go all-in for 12000T after everyone else tries to limp, hoping that Older Guy will call yet again. Everyone else folds and Older Guy says, "I really need to get home, so let's play one more." He calls and the flop gets dealt before he shows his cards. By this point I am nervous that I am due for a beat after my little run of luck following the bitch incident and then the flop is A-2-4 and I curse because I just know he has an Ace. This bad mood goes away when I see his cards and see that he called the 12000T all-in bet, which was almost equal to his now-smaller stack of 13000T.... with J3. WOW! If I win this I am in the top 5 in chips and I am ready to win the video iPod that is first prize. The turn is a K! YESSSSSS! Only four cards in the deck can beat me! YESSSSS! I am going to get all of this guy's chips after all! YESSSSS! Please no 5 on the river. Please no 5 on the river! NO FIVE!

    5 minutes later I was in the car on my way home. Dammit.

    But I still have my current iPod that works just fine, thank you. And at least it didn't cost me any money tonight.

    (1) comments

    Posted by Johnnymac 5:12 AM
    I'm not sure that I'm buying that Larry Dierker isn't more upset than he's letting on, but apparently Milo Hamilton's new book is quite candid. I have also heard the stuff about Harry Carey before and I think it will be interesting to hear Milo's on side of it, since he was so directly involved.

    [co-author Bob Ibach], a former Baltimore Sun sportswriter and Cubs public relations director, recalled Wednesday a handful of examples when Caray put Hamilton through what he calls "a living hell."

    "When I first came to the Cubs at the end of the '81 season, (former Cubs lead announcer) Jack Brickhouse handed the baton to Milo, and it was announced on air," Ibach said. "All of a sudden, Milo got an invitation to a press conference. He shows up, and Tribune's introducing Harry Caray as lead broadcaster. Milo was shocked. To his credit, he composed himself in the back of the room that day.

    "Harry said, 'What are you doing? I thought you'd leave town by now.' "

    (0) comments

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    Posted by Junelli 10:18 AM
    I just wrote a post about the big hand I won with KK.

    Unfortunately, that was the end of my good fortune, as I ran into "cooler hands" the rest of the night. Here are some of my big losses:

    I misplayed the first one. Lemme know what you think.

    I have 46s in the SB. There is a raise to $20 and there are 5 callers including me. The pot is $100 before the flop.

    The flop is 235 giving me the nut straight. The preflop raiser leads out for $100. **Aside, the preflop raiser is an experienced player who is a regular at the Top Hat. He is tricky, aggressive, and can play any two cards. He also bluffs on a regular basis.

    Everyone folds around to me, and I decide to raise because there are 2 spades on the board.

    I raise him $150, making it $250 straight.

    He takes a good amount of time scratching his head but ultimately calls the raise. The pot is now $600.

    The turn is a 7 spades, putting 3 spades on the board.

    I'm first to act. What would you do? Remember that this is a good player, who is aggressive and tricky. He is also playing incredibly loose tonight and is stuck in the game pretty good. We both have a lot of chips. I have him covered, but he has about $600 more.

    Back to the question. You're out of position now. What do you do? Should I check, and let him make a big bet and possibly take the pot away from me? Should I lead out?

    I decide to lead out with a bet of about half the pot. I bet $225. Again he hems and haws for minute and then says, "well I guess it's time to go home." He goes all-in.

    Now I have to call $375 more into a $1,400 pot. Sick.

    Would you fold or call? It was a tough decision for me, but it basically boiled down to whether or not I believed he had the flush already. I thought back about his actions: he had raised preflop from early position and had come out firing on the flop. He also called my raise on the flop, but clearly didn't like it.

    I put him on an overpair like AA, KK, QQ, JJ and 1 spade. Therefore, he could have a backdoor draw to a big flush along with his overpair. Of course he could also have made the flush already.

    I think about it and decide that he doesn't have it yet.

    I call.

    He turns over Ks Qs and I lose a huge pot.

    "Nice turn card dealer. You cockroach."


    A little while later I have KJ against a board of J83 with 2 clubs. The worst player at the table (who is incredibly loose and agressive, and has $2,500 in chips), bets $100.

    I know my hand is the best, so I move all-in for $300.

    He calls with 3c 6c. A pair and a flush draw.

    I'm ahead, but he has enough outs to where I can't insure it yet.

    I offered to deal it twice (2 turns and 2 rivers).

    He accepts and hits his flush on both rivers. I lose the entire pot.


    I hold 24 against a board of 248. I move all-in for $175 and get called by 2 players.

    The turn is a 4 giving me a full house.

    The other player had 84 giving him a bigger full house.


    I hold AT against a flop of T52.

    The other player has a set of 5's.


    I flop 2 pair with 86 against a board of T86. 3 of us smooth call a $30 bet on the flop. The turn is a 2, and the bettor leads out for $150, putting me all-in.

    I call, and he turns over T2. He hit his kicker on the turn.


    The final nail in the coffin came when I had only $60 left, and was dealt AKs in early position.

    I move all-in and get called by 4 players.

    The board is rags, and I never connect. Someone with 78 wins the hand.


    "Sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're the bug."

    (0) comments

    Posted by Junelli 9:40 AM
    "Four Lead Changes in One Hand"

    Last night I played one of the most interesting hands I've ever played. It was a $2,600 pot in which the lead changed 4 separate times. Here's how it went down:

    The game is $5-$5 NL. I bought in for $300, but only have about $250 in front of me.

    In the BB, I'm dealt Kc Ks. 6 or 7 people limp in for $5 and it's my option. I raise $50 more and get called by 2 players. The pot is $180 before the flop.

    The flop is Ts 5h 2s. I'm first to act, and know that I can't fuck around with this hand. I'm clearly worried about the straight or the flush getting there, so there won't be any slowplaying this time.

    I'm first to act, and I move all-in for $195.

    Player 2 calls the $195, and Player 3 comes over the top and raises all-in for $900 more. Player 2 calls.

    The main pot is $765 and there is $1,800 in the side pot.

    What do you think everyone held?

    If you said, "a set and a flush draw," then you're right.

    Player 2 has Js 6s, just a spade draw.
    Player 3 has a 222 with no spades.

    Player 3 (with the set of dueces) has the best hand and decides to take one-card insurance. He insuring against a King or the 7 spades. I believe he locks up $1,000.

    The turn is a 7s, and Player 2 just took the lead in the hand with his flush. Now he decides to insure his hand against the board pairing, case deuce, or one of the remaining spades.

    Luckily, I picked up outs on the turn becuase I hold the Ks.

    The river spikes a Qs, and my King high flush wins the $765 main pot. Needless to say, the house got spanked on the insurance.

    I thought it was very interesting the way the lead changed every time a card came out: KK before the flop, 22 after the flop, J6 after the turn, KK after the river.

    (0) comments

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    Posted by Dr Fro 7:45 PM
    I have always thought it was very stupid to berate your oppponents in poker. I wrote a long post about this over Christmas then lost the post (sometimes blogger really sucks). I'll stitch together that diatribe sometime for your reading pleasure, but this story right here is probably the ultimate example in why you shouldn't piss off your opponents.

    (2) comments

    Posted by Junelli 5:09 PM
    Sorry it's taken me so long to get out my Vegas report. I just started at my new law firm on Monday, and things have been very busy.

    After`4.5 years, I left Thompson & Knight 2 weeks ago to join a very small commercial litigation boutique named Faubus & Taft. The firm has 4 attorneys, which is a stark contrast to TK, which had over 450 lawyers in 12 offices in 7 countries. The change is a welcome one, and I'm looking forward to building my own book of business.

    After I left TK, but before I started at my new gig, Dabney and I took a little sojourn to Vegas. We flew out on Saturday and stayed until Tuesday.

    **Aside** Flying on "off" days is the best way to do Vegas. The flights and hotel rooms are much cheaper and always available. e.g. I booked our trip exactly 7 days beforehand, and the SWA non-stop ticket was only $150. The hotel room at the MGM Grand was $75/night. You can't beat that with a stick.

    I only got to play poker 3 times because I was hanging out with my wife most of the time. We saw some shows and dumped off plenty of money playing blackjack, craps and roulette.

    On Saturday we arrived at 4pm. As usual, I immediately took a nose dive in the gambling department (I've never won on the first day). Here's what my log from Saturday looked like:

    MGM Blackjack (-$200)
    MGM Roulette (-$100)
    Bellagio Blackjack (-$200)
    Bellagio Craps (-$124)
    Bellagio Slots +$27
    Monte Carlo BJ +$125
    MGM $2-$5 NL (-$1,000)

    The MGM poker was salty to say the least. I found the game to be relatively soft, but there were several good/tricky players. The room was packed to the gills and every table was full. They had 3 NL tables running $2-$5, and several more running $1-$2 NL. The rest were running low limit ring games. The $2-$5 had a $500 max buy-in.

    I played about 6 hours and lost almost every hand I played. I started out very tight and folded mostly for the first 2 hours. However, I just never could get anything going. I had big hands come up against bigger hands, and I took 1 or 2 small beats.

    After getting busted the first time I rebought because there was a guy at the other end who was quite possibly the worst player I've ever encountered. He saw every flop for 5 hours, and absolutely would not lay a hand down. He never trapped, and was very transparent when he had a hand (calling station when weak, and aggressive when strong). He was stuck at least $5,000 during the time I was there, and just kept buying back in.

    Unfortunately, I never was able to tangle with him.

    Late that night I was getting very very frustrated. With only $125 left, I moved in preflop with 77. I really was hoping to get called for 2 reasons: chance to double up, or a good night blow that would allow me to go to bed.

    The goodnight blow came when I was called by JJ and KK. Oooops.


    Sunday was much better for me. I started by playing in the $40 daily tournament at the Rio, but was eliminated 37th out of 95. During the tournament, a dealer told us that the Rio has the "softest NL game in town." That was enough for me.

    Blake McWherter and I bought into the NL game at about 2pm while our wives went to the Palms to look for celebrities. Four hours later I cashed out with a profit of $1,000.

    The game was incredibly easy. I made most of my money when I held Q7 in the BB and was able to limp into a multiway pot. The flop was Q7K with 2 clubs. I checked and the next player led out for $20. 3 players called before it got back to me. I raised it to $85 straight figuring I'd narrow the field, but hoping to keep one player in. 2 players called.

    The turn was a blank and I led out for $250 in hopes of ending the hand right there. Shockingly, both players called, but the one next to me was all-in for slightly less.

    Holy shit, please put a blank on the river. Please please please. I knew they were drawing, and just hoped the poker gods wouldn't spank me.

    The river was a 2 of spades. A complete blank. I immediately moved all-in for over $500 more. The last player took his time, but ultimately folded.

    The all-in player turned over a pair and a flush draw. The other guy told me he was open-ended. Whew! I dodged a lot of outs and took down a monster pot.

    I made some other big hands and cashed out at 7pm with a nice profit (almost enough to wipe out the previous days losses).

    Unfortunately, I was only able to play poker 1 more time, and I broke even. However, I continued to play blackjack, roulette, pai gow, and craps and continued to lose money.

    It was my first time to play Pai Gow, and I really liked it.

    This trip we gambled at:
    MGM, Bellagio, Wynn, Golden Nuggett, Monte Carlo, Mandalay Bay, Rio. That's a pretty good circuit for a few days vacation.

    For non-poker gambling, the Golden Nugget is my favorite. It's old school Vegas and the customer service is light years better than the monstrosities on the strip. The Wynn is the nicest casino I've ever seen (although it is remarkably similar to the Bellagio).

    The Luxor (where I cashed Dr. Fro's Rose Bowl ticket) is just plain nasty. Of all the sportbooks in Vegas, why place your bet at the Luxor?? :)

    Fix at Bellagio is one of the best restaurants I've ever eaten at (Vegas or otherwise). It is clearly my favorite in Vegas.
    Olives at Bellagio is very very good.
    If your in the mood for Chinese, go to "Red 8" at the Wynn.
    Stay far far away from the buffett at the MGM. It tasted like something on Fear Factor.

    I also stopped by Caesar's to check out their new poker room. It is huge, with over 30 tables. Plasma TVs on every wall. It is one of the nicest rooms I've seen.

    FInally, I walked into the Bellagio poker room and saw Doyle playing in the high limit section against 2 other players. I tried to buy-in for $750, but it wasn't quite enough. Chickens...

    (0) comments

    Posted by Dr Fro 1:32 PM
    From the mailbag:


    From: Gay Cowboy
    To: Dr. fro
    Subject: Poker on tv last night

    Here's the situation (and why I was confused)...

    Negreanu is dealt ATo. Elezra is dealt 86o. I can't remember the original bets but the table folds around and these guys are heads-up to the flop.

    Flop is 6810 rainbow. Elezra bets $15k -- a pretty high for the game. Negreanu talks out loud for a long time and finally raises to $100k. Elezra calls to go all in immediately.

    Now here's what I found confusing:

    Negreanu: "What do you have?"
    Elezra: "Two pair - 8s & 6s"
    Negreanu: "Do you want to go twice."
    Elezra: "Sure"
    Negreanu: "I've got a 10 and an A."

    What's confusing to me is that Negreanu heard what Elezra had and then offered to "roll it twice" without telling Elezra what he had. Why would Elezra ever accept that proposal? I suspect that most of the time when its "rolled twice", the players probably think they are pretty much in a race (sort of splitting the pot). Seems really odd that Elezra would have accepted the proposal since he had him dominated and that now gave Negreanu many more chances to get outs to win half the pot.

    As it happened:
    the first turn and river were rags -- Elezra wins the pot.
    the second turn is an A (Negreanu has 2 pair), but the river is an 8 and Elezra takes it with a full house.
    It worked out, but it still seemed odd.


    I think the offer and acceptance on rolling it twice makes sense, as even if you are way ahead, you are still way ahead for each "roll" In other words, your decision on whether or not to roll it twice is not a function of where you are (ahead vs behind). It gives you the roughly the same* EV, although a smaller std deviation.

    *I say roughly the same to account for the slight difference in a "with replacement" and "without replacement calculation". A minor point.

    (0) comments

    Posted by Johnnymac 11:05 AM
    I owe you guys a post about the Omaha game last week, so here goes.

    First, it was fun.

    Second, I want to address the blinds. Just as in our NLHE games, my standard $40 buy-in is not particularly indicative of 0.50/1.00 blinds in PL Omaha Hi/Lo, but the reason I do that is to keep the game relatively tame for at least the first 1-2 orbits and this was accomplished - it's not that much fun to get busted out in the first 30 minutes of the game and despite the stakes, smaller stacks induce a little bit more restrained play from the guys, at least at first. It didn't take long for us to start playing for $50-100 pots, though, once the first couple of players busted out. And as always, the $40 limit is only to start the game, once the game has started anyone can buy in for whatever the largest stack on the table may be. I like it and I think it accomplishes what I want it to, so I think I will stick with it. I know we could all just pull out $100 right away, but this is indeed intended to be a friendly game and I think the small opening amount encourages that.

    Third, my experience - I myself lost money - I got busted out, even, mainly because the cards were very cold for me all night and I didn't play many hands: I saw LOTS of cards between 5 and Jack and in Hi/Lo split those cards generally are worthless. I think my best starting hand all night was AA45 rainbow, which isn't really that great, and when I did play a few other hands like suited Ace-crap or rainbow face cards I usually missed the flop and got pushed out by big bets. No sense in throwing more money away. I think I won one small pot all night when I flopped the wheel from the big blind with Q953; maybe it's possible that I won two pots and not one, but I seriously think that was the only one pushed my way for the whole time we played. Canonico admonished me the next day for playing too tightly preflop (I think the words "pussy" and "grandmother" were used) and in retrospect I think he was right that I needed to pay a little more heed to the implied odds that the PL structure was offering me, but even then on the few marginal hands that I saw I was generally out of position to call the preflop raises that came almost every time. In Omaha you either want a lot of high cards or a lot of low cards but you never want just a little of each or a lot of anything in between and that's all I was dealt on Thursday. It was just one of those nights.

    Incidentally, the most "impressive" starting hand I saw on Thursday was AAAK, which, while certainly pretty, is crap in Omaha because it's nothing more than a pair of Aces that is a huge dog to improve to anything else (like any dealt trips is), so I folded. The flop subsequently came A-K-blank with another K on the turn. Well. I mentioned my folded hand when it was done and one player, who doesn't read this blog and shall remain nameless, said I was "crazy" and that he always plays those kinds of hands. He is a nice guy but you can probably tell I didn't invite him to the game solely for his company.

    Fourth, everyone else. I think everyone had fun. Planck was the big winner, Canonico and Morris and Padilla also won a little bit, and I think everyone else lost. The game was VERY aggressive, even moreso than I was expecting, but I guess that is to be expected with Morris and Planck and Canonico all sitting together at one end of the table and jabbering at each other all night long.

    So I think that's it. Like I said, I plan on making the Omaha game a monthly occurrence, so we'll do it again in March.

    (5) comments

    Saturday, February 04, 2006

    Posted by Dr Fro 6:16 PM
    I don't recall ever being dealt A2AK, double suited in Omaha 8 before. Most people consider it the best hand in O8. If my calculations are correct, the overall odds of being dealt that hand is approximately 0.004%. (if anybody knows the exact odds, let me know.) That is highly unlikely. Well, I am playing $25 PL O/8 right now, and guess what happened a few minutes ago?

    I doubled up.

    (2) comments

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    Posted by Johnnymac 8:54 PM
    So tomorrow night something will occur that I have been trying to get together for many many months - even a couple of years if you look at it just right. Tomorrow night we will play Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo 8 or Better in my garage. Even better, we will have a full table. Even best, there is a waiting list; more guys wanted to play than there were seats! The last time I tried to organize an O8 game we ended up playing 4 handed Hi-only: me, Fro, Jeff, and Jerome. My, things have changed!

    This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a regular game. Once a month, I hope to have a regular PL Omaha 8 game in my garage on the first Thursday of the month. I also am hoping to start a monthly NL Holdem game on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Mrs Johnnymac initially wasn't happy about the twice-per-month poker in her garage, but I pointed out that it is actually going to be in the GARAGE (not in the house) and 100% LEGAL (as opposed to a room) and her attitude improved. Slightly. But right now everything is on. I have a new space heater for when it's cold and I have found a portable evaporative that I plan to order before it gets too warm - not to mention the new doorbell I have installed for getting people inside of the driveway gate when the garage door is down - so I think we are all set to start a new regular poker game. Or games. We'll see.

    I think I have most everyone on my list already. Many guys received the first Omaha email last week. There were a few more guys who I just put onto the Holdem list because I figured they wouldn't want to play Omaha. However, if you are not on the list (and you can probably guess who you are), send me an email and I will add you to the list of potential players.

    That's it for now. I will have a report on Friday morning from the first Omaha game.

    (2) comments

    Posted by Johnnymac 10:36 AM
    Supposedly this kid who brings the wood in peewee football is Ronnie Lott's son. If so, he is a chip off the old block. Damn.

    This makes the 2nd video in a week that I am linking to via Bill Simmons's "Daily Links" page. You should be reading that page everyday if you are not, because it's all good stuff and it's usually 100% safe for work. I would link to it, but the URL changes everyday. You can, however, get there from the home page.

    (0) comments

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